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Harry Potter stars help debut Universal Orlando ride

Published on Jun 19, 2014 10:13 AM
 
Universal Orlando's new Diagon Alley attraction, part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is seen in this undated handout picture in Orlando, Florida. The much-anticipated expansion of Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open on July 8, the theme park said on June 18, 2014 ahead of a preview of the new attraction. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ORLANDO (REUTERS) - Stars of the Harry Potter franchise hit the red carpet at the much-anticipated expansion of Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Wednesday, ahead of the opening of the new attraction on July 8.

The addition of Diagon Alley to the theme park is expected to provide a boost for the park's revenues and for tourism in central Florida. It recreates the wizarding business district in London described in J.K. Rowling's popular book series and featured heavily in the subsequent Warner Bros. movies.

The new attraction expands the original Harry Potter world, which opened in 2010 and is modelled after Hogsmeade Village, which is located near the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where the series' leading character Harry Potter begins his magical adventures.

Actor Tom Felton, who plays Harry's school nemesis Draco Malfoy, said Universal Studios' Diagon Alley attraction is better than the movie set he spent a decade filming on. "It's far more immersive. There's no scaffolding, no green screen, no electricians standing around," he told Reuters.

 
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